If you’re lucky enough to live in a tight, energy efficient home, you may need more fresh air ventilation to keep the indoor air healthy. Fresh air is especially important during the heating season, and ways exist for you to keep your air fresh without driving up heating bills.
When the construction industry implemented higher energy efficiency guidelines, indoor air quality (IAQ) suffered. Many of the products commonly used in homes send off gases as they age that cause health problems from mild to serious.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) come from cleaning supplies, air fresheners, anything that contains perfume, new carpeting, paint, upholstered furniture and wood. Other indoor pollutants include excessive humidity, smoke and fumes from gas stoves and fireplaces.
An attached garage has the potential to pollute indoor air through leaks around the adjoining wall and door, like carbon monoxide (CO) and VOCs home and yard chemicals and vehicle exhaust. CO exposure can be lethal in sufficient concentrations, and VOCs from exhaust are known carcinogens.
Ways to dilute the concentrations of VOCs and other pollutants include:
- Exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Supply-only systems that connect to your HVAC system,
- Balanced systems that pull out stale, polluted air and bring in fresh air at the same time.
Exhaust fans and supply-only systems have the potential to increase energy bills because both bring in fresh air. The most energy efficient way to increase ventilation is with either a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or energy recovery ventilator (ERV).
Both of these devices extract the energy from the outgoing air through a heat exchanger and put into the incoming air. An ERV also removes humidity from the incoming air. These devices can be placed in the attic and the air directed into the ducts or directly into a room or space.
Fresh air ventilation keeps the IAQ high that promotes your health, and it’s possible to achieve it year-round. For more information, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We provide HVAC services for homeowners in Grand Traverse County and the surrounding areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about your home’s air and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
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